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15th August, 1914 the Panama Canal was opened

Panama CanalOn the 15th of August, 1914 Panama Canal was solemnly opened and the first shipsailed along it. Geographic map shows that the Canal channel being located on the Isthmus of Panama, made it possible for the ships of the Atlantic Ocean pass to the Pacific. The ship will take about 7 hours to sail the Panama Canal, and the maximum channel capacity per day is 48 vessels. In an average year the Panama Canal runs about 17,000 ships: it can be private yachts, huge container ships and tankers.

The idea of ​​laying a canal on the Isthmus of Panama appeared in medieval colonialists, but the realization of this idea became technically possible only in the XIX-XX centuries. Construction has begun by the French public company led by Ferdinand de Lesseps. This man was known as the builder of the Suez Canal. On the 1st January, 1880 was a magnificent ceremony of the foundation of the Canal. But numerous design errors and abuses have caused huge financial losses and occasioned a great scandal of the international level. Followed by a series of high-profile trials in 1898 French authorities have offered the president of the United States to buy the right to build a channel for 40 million dollars. The American company has continued to build the Canal and successfully brought it to the end.

The construction of the Panama Canal, with a length of 81.6 km, is one of the most complex projects realized by a man. At the same time, the channel had a significant impact on the economy and shipping, as in the Western Hemisphere, as well as on the entire planet as a whole. The geopolitical importance of the channel can not be underestimated. For example, you can see on the map the sea route from New York to San Francisco by Canal decreased to 9500km, instead of the usual 22500km.

This Day in History 15-08-2013